Like music therapy, dramatherapy is an allied health profession requiring HCPC registration and regulation. Clients of all ages, in groups or 1:1, are able to explore a wide variety of different issues and needs from autism and dementia to neuro-rehab and family issues to development and learning to physical/sexual abuse and mental health in an indirect way leading to psychological, emotional and social changes.
Dramatherapists work with their clients using a very wide range of dramatic techniques in verbal and non-verbal ways. Though vocalisation, story making and talk are integral parts of dramatherapy, the practice does not necessarily rely on spoken language alone to resolve what a pupil, client, or patient may wish to address, explore or to seek support with. Embodiment and movement in whatever form possible are also used in practice. Dramatherapy may use games, exploration of objects, creation of props, and use of drama techniques including improvisation, role-play, use of puppets, and story acting or creation, to name but a few to support a client to reach their goals.
Some of the main aspects of dramatherapy are designed to support relating to others more easily by increasing expression and understanding ones own experiences. Dramatherapy often uses indirect mechanisms in order to do this, which makes the experience less intense than traditional talking therapies, such as co-writing a client led story which links to the client’s experience in some way, or creating a piece of art or a prop together, and then supporting exploration of this to build self-awareness and support understanding of their circumstances. Dramatherapy can also reduce isolation and build social skills, develop problem solving and executive functioning skills, increase co-ordination and motor skills, build awareness of emotions, build confidence and coping skills and it also uses creativity and ‘out of the box’ imagination and playfulness to engage clients that struggle to relate to ‘conventional’ therapy or rehabilitation.